WENATCHEE, Wash. – With an unusual late start to the season, many are finally beginning to feel the heat of summer. As July quickly approaches and volumes ramp up, retailers need to start planning promotions around Rainier cherries, and what Stemilt’s industry-leading program and promotion advice is a great starting place to build sales with this niche cherry variety.
“It’s a big year for Rainiers with increased volumes and excellent qualities thus far,” states Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt. “Now that Rainiers are coming into peak volumes, it’s time to promote heavily to capture sales.”
Stemilt, a leader in Rainier cherries, was the first to introduce Rainier cherries on a large scale. Rainiers were and still are a pollinizer for many cherry varieties. Tom Mathison, the late founder of Stemilt decided to grow Rainiers on a larger scale to give consumers more option from the dark-sweet varieties.
“Tom set Stemilt up to be the leader of the Rainier category,” states Pepperl. “And today, Stemilt is growing impeccable Rainiers. As they are naturally larger than dark-sweets, the Rainier’s being packed are beautifully colored, full of sugars making them incredibly large and very sweet, while still maintaining a nice firmness.”
Pepperl suggests that retailers should push advertisements for large-sized Rainiers out the first three weeks of July to maximize sales volumes and hit peak promotions. Running advertisements back-to-back-to-back will benefit retailers as they will be able to move good volume and make a solid profit. Retailers should also focus heavily on July 11th, National Rainier Cherry Day by promoting with special advertisements to recognize the popular cherry variety on its big day.
“Rainier cherries are a fan favorite,” states Pepperl. “Retailers need to capitalize these first three weeks of July to boost sales and the position of this high-ring cherry. Use quality first to encourage consumers to make those impulse purchases.”
Retailers should place pop-up display bins in busy areas to encourage impulse buys. The display bins feature both dark-sweet and Rainier cherries allowing for dual purpose. Rainier cherries are available in a variety of packages, including clamshells and pouch bags. Artisan Organics™ Rainier cherries will also have good supplies in July and opportunities to excite organic shoppers.
“Rainier cherries require extra care and commitment on both the farming and packing side. They are delicate, and need to be treated as such throughout the field to store process. Stemilt’s long-time leadership in Rainiers has given us the edge to do all that it takes to grow great Rainiers,” states Pepperl.
Once Stemilt’s Rainier cherries are picked and placed gently in lugs, fruit is hydrocooled on-site at the farm before making the journey back to the company’s Olds Station facility to be packed and shipped. Hydrocooling the cherries immediately after they are picked improves its overall quality as well as enhances its shelf life.
Stemilt is able to efficiently yet gently move its Rainier cherries through their state-of-the-art packing line and optical electronic sizer and sorter. The 24-lane hybrid line is located at Stemilt’s Olds Station facility was unveiled last year and specifically designed to handle yellow-hued cherries.
“July is a pivotal month for cherry sales,” says Pepperl. “We advise that retailers waste no time and start the attack on advertisements early. With great planning and execution, this will be a big month for both Stemilt and for the retailer.”
Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is a leading shipper of sweet cherries and organic tree fruits. Stemilt has also demonstrated a commitment to sustainable agriculture and social responsibility since 1989, when founder Tom Mathison launched the company’s Responsible Choice program. For more information about Stemilt, visit www.stemilt.com and follow Stemilt on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.
Source: Stemilt Growers